Sarantis Michalopoulos

Politics 18-01-2022

The Brief – An inevitable betrayal

Following the 2008 economic crisis, the EU socialists almost collapsed in successive elections across the bloc. Back then, they put the blame on the “grand coalition” they had formed with the centre-right.
Global Europe 07-12-2021

The Brief — Europe’s neocon Christians vs Pope Francis

It’s common knowledge that we're living in an era where ideological lines are often blurred. Equally clear is that far-right populists interpret religion according to their political views.
Politics 09-11-2021

The Brief, powered by The Martens Centre — Fickle allegiances in the Balkans

What a difference being in power makes. When they were in opposition, Greece’s New Democracy and North Macedonia’s VMRO party, both members of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), rejected the hard-fought solution to the two countries' long-standing name dispute.

The Brief, powered by GIE — French frigates to fight German submarines in the Aegean?

The EU is quick to call for de-escalation in case of conflicts, it is ambitious about setting itself targets such as “strategic autonomy”, and it succeeds to make its voice heard in the world.

The Brief, powered by EPRA – A China war by the backdoor

As diplomatic snubs go, the announcement by the United States, Britain, and Australia that they would establish a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific which would also help Australia acquire US nuclear-powered submarines - scrapping a $40 billion French-designed submarine deal in the process - is hard to beat.
Future EU 16-07-2021

The Brief, powered by Greens/EFA – Return to the Dark Ages

Thousands of demonstrators gathered across Greece this week to protest against the government’s push to effectively make immunisation against COVID-19 mandatory in order to lead a normal life.
Politics 10-06-2021

The Brief – Where have all the Russian tourists gone?

Russian tourists, it seems, will be avoiding beaches in Greece and Bulgaria this year. Our take is that the epidemiological situation surely cannot be the excuse and that the Kremlin has decided which countries to reward with tourists and which...
China 13-05-2021

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – Franco-German vaccine trade-offs and EU-China deal

When the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) was agreed “in principle” last December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron were rather satisfied. Their plan was to have the deal agreed upon during...
Agrifood 21-04-2021

The Brief, powered by VDMA – The Commission’s happy virtual reality

Europe’s transport decarbonisation has never been an easy task. Transport is responsible for as much as 27% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and the European Commission admits that by 2030 things will not change dramatically. Several...
Coronavirus 31-03-2021

The Brief, powered by bp – Not that ‘smart’ after all

All it took was a few hours of warm weather and the Brussels parks were suddenly flooded with hundreds of young people on Tuesday as if there had never been any confinement. Similar pictures could be seen across Europe - a clear sign that people are reaching their confinement limits during this seemingly never-ending pandemic.

The Brief, powered by Eurochild – Being proactive in a slow-moving Europe

When Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis first proposed to have a European vaccination certificate a few months ago, to facilitate life and travel across the continent, the first EU reactions – especially from Germany and France – were dismissive and...
Europe's East 10-02-2021

The Brief, powered by GSMA – Listen to Europe’s youth, see far

Raising awareness of a critical issue too early may prove to be counterproductive, either because short-sighted politicians focus on short-term interests or because they simply do not see what is coming up.
Coronavirus 02-02-2021

The Brief, powered by Facebook – Some already miss the UK

It’s not going to be easy to sweep the EU’s vaccines mess under the carpet. Several media across Europe are now calling out those responsible for the “fiasco” over the way the European Commission has handled vaccine deals with the...
Politics 19-11-2020

The Brief, powered by EHFG – Focus on Plan A, keep Orbán for later

Europe’s focus is on Plan A: urgently reaching an agreement on the next EU budget, recovery fund and rule of law mechanism. There is also a Plan B, in case the Hungarian and Polish vetoes are not lifted. The thorny issue of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will be assessed later.
Politics 17-11-2020

The Brief, powered by EHFG – EU centre-right faces cruel reality it created

It is only too easy to say 'we told you so'. But we did, and now it's time to face the music.
Global Europe 03-11-2020

The Brief, powered by Martens Centre – The Battle of Vienna revisited

The Battle of Vienna took place in 1683, when the Holy Roman Empire led by the Habsburg Monarchy and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, both under the command of King Jan III Sobieski, defeated the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna.
Global Europe 14-09-2020

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – Hagia Sophia in Cyprus: when Eurocrats ruin Europe

Europe’s unification process was never going to be an easy task. When there are economic imbalances among EU member states, when the creation of an ‘EU identity’ clashes with different cultures, the integration process is faced with difficulties. But with...

The Brief, powered by amfori – Moria burns, and solidarity with it

Moria is burning, and with it, the European values we pretend to uphold. This is how Green MEP Philippe Lamberts described the tragic events at Greece’s overcrowded migrant camp of Moria after a fire broke out there on Tuesday night....
Future EU 14-07-2020

The Brief – Orbán’s Christianity has limits

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has repeatedly stressed that Europe can only be saved if it returns to its Christian roots.
Global Europe 07-07-2020

The Brief, powered by BSEF – Turkey threatens, Borrell smiles

On Monday (6 July), EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell met Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, who publicly threatened the EU with retaliation if further sanctions are imposed on Ankara. The threat was met with a diplomatic appeal for dialogue, which - it is increasingly clear now - sometimes just doesn't cut it.